11 Songs, 1 Hour 15 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

St. Anger is an album of naked frustration. Longtime bassist and crucial contributor Jason Newsted left the band prior to recording it, James Hetfield entered rehab for substance abuse at the beginning of the sessions, and the personal and creative tensions among the remaining band members were only exacerbated when a camera crew was invited to document the recording process for the film Some Kind of Monster. The album took almost a year to record, and the results are overlabored, but also incredibly revealing. Even though Bob Rock’s production has a cold, detached feel, and Newsted’s absence on bass clearly leaves a void in the band dynamic, St. Anger resulted in some of Metallica’s most brutally ferocious playing, particularly on “Frantic,” “Dirty Window,” and “All Within My Hands.” As far as band cohesion goes, St. Anger is undoubtedly Metallica’s most disjointed, claustrophobic album, and fans may never forgive the infamously tinny drum sound. But while St. Anger is certainly not Metallica’s best album musically, it is their most compelling album psychologically. The title is not a misnomer: this is the sound of the most successful metal band in the world exorcising its demons.

EDITORS’ NOTES

St. Anger is an album of naked frustration. Longtime bassist and crucial contributor Jason Newsted left the band prior to recording it, James Hetfield entered rehab for substance abuse at the beginning of the sessions, and the personal and creative tensions among the remaining band members were only exacerbated when a camera crew was invited to document the recording process for the film Some Kind of Monster. The album took almost a year to record, and the results are overlabored, but also incredibly revealing. Even though Bob Rock’s production has a cold, detached feel, and Newsted’s absence on bass clearly leaves a void in the band dynamic, St. Anger resulted in some of Metallica’s most brutally ferocious playing, particularly on “Frantic,” “Dirty Window,” and “All Within My Hands.” As far as band cohesion goes, St. Anger is undoubtedly Metallica’s most disjointed, claustrophobic album, and fans may never forgive the infamously tinny drum sound. But while St. Anger is certainly not Metallica’s best album musically, it is their most compelling album psychologically. The title is not a misnomer: this is the sound of the most successful metal band in the world exorcising its demons.

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